ST. LOUIS --For an offensive line put together on the fly, the Eagles performed admirably in Sunday's 31-13 win over the Rams. Michael Vick generally had time to throw the football against an anticipated onslaught of St. Louis blitzes and the Eagles rolled up more than 400 yards of offense, converted 8 of 12 third downs and, had it not been for some miscues in the red zone, would have busted the 40-point mark.
From left to right, the Eagles went with Jason Peters, Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, Kyle DeVan and Todd Herremans. And while there were some mistakes – the Eagles allowed 3 sacks and the running game was unable to sustain anything between the tackles in the first half – the line did a pretty darn nice job having been finalized just a few days before kickoff.
Herremans, in particular, had a strong outing. Matched against defensive end Chris Long, who led the NFL in quarterback hurries last year and added 8 ½ sacks on his season, Herremans was often in one-on-one position against Long.
"It was a matter of going out there and being sure in my technique and staying in front of him," said Herremans after his first NFL start at right tackle. "He's a great player. He keeps coming after you. So I had some help, and we moved the pocket at times. It was our whole team that did the job. I think we can play a lot better, but for the first time out it went pretty well."
The Eagles were not called for a single false-start penalty, impressive playing in such a loud stadium. The offensive line really hit its stride in the last two periods, putting together touchdown drives of 63 yards and 85 yards and dominating the line of scrimmage.
"We worked really hard on communication all week and it paid off," said Mathis. "A lot of guys really showed their sense of urgency to get the game plan down, to get the communication down. We worked together on this. We had to come together quickly. We knew they were going to try to pressure us and they put together a good plan, but I feel like our time we put in during the week to prepare paid off. We were ready for what they showed us.
"We made some mistakes. There is a lot to work on. I'm sure when we watch the film, we're going to see a lot of mistakes. Today was a great start for us, but we have a long way to go. We have to keep working, keep pounding."
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